Internet Archive Includes Over 10 Billion Web Sites
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In 1996, the Internet Archive set about building a permanent historical record of the ephemeral new medium - the World Wide Web. Since then, the Internet Archive has been collaborating with the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution and others to store and record web pages. The Internet Archive recently made its collection available to the public via its Way Back Machine web site.

Visitors to the site simply input the URL of any site they are interested in viewing to search the archive's 100 terabytes of data. Results are returned in a table listing stored pages by the date they were modified/added to the archive.

Clicking on any of the returned links takes users to the stored version of that page as it appeared on the date indicated. The archive has seemingly stored complete versions of the websites for that particular date. For example, users might view the Internet For Lawyers web site as it appeared in May of 2000, and would be able to click through all the various pages then available.

The site could be most valuable to litigators or investigators attempting to document claims made by the opposition on their web site, but which had subsequently been removed.

Additionally, the archive contains links to nearly 1000 films digitzed by the Prelinger Archive. The collection consists primarily of instructional/educational, advertising, and documentary films, (in a mixture of .avi and .mpg file formats) as well as home movies dating back to 1903 through the 1980s. More information on the Prelinger Archive is available at their site.

The Internet Archive continues to grow at a rate of 10 terabytes per month. On its own web site, the Internet Archive claims to surpass "the amount of data contained in every library in the world including the Library of Congress, and making it the largest known database in existence."

 

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